It’s high time that we saw another entry into the Secret Hotel market, so we’re pleased to welcome the new offering from LowCostHolidays! Checkout their booking page here.
LowCostHolidays have negotiated deals of up to 50% on the condition that the hotel names remain anonymous. As usual, names will be revealed after bookings are confirmed and prices are served on a ‘hotel only’ basis.
What’s different about this one?
Execs at the Low Cost Travel Group concede that the concept of selling anonymous hotels is not a new one, but were quick to point out that their offering was specifically targeted at beach hotels…. Launching with a unique collection of high quality beach venues, we have to agree that this does feel like a breath of fresh air in a market dominated that has been dominated by ‘city breaks’.
Amongst the deals featured, is a night in the five star deluxe Sharm El Sheik, at just short of £130 per person – not bad for one of the world’s finest hotels!
The booking process
We were keen to dive straight in and nose through the details that Low Cost will be offering… Like other opaque booking agents, the star rating is displayed on the secret hotel description page, along with the rough location and implied saving versus typical room rates.
Sifting through the offerings, it appears that some of the accommodation is simply ‘allocation upon arrival’, with a guarantee of certain facilities and star-ratings, in hotels chosen by an “experienced team of holiday experts” – so not really ‘secret hotels’.
For the hotels that are pre-determined, i.e. ‘secret’ in the more classical sense, description pages vary quite significantly from the conventional booking agents…
Rather than the usual list, facilities and amenities are supplied in paragraph format under given sub-headings – a welcomed change, but we wonder if this will mean missing some of the key facilities on offer (both from the perspective of the person writing these pages, and for the booker).
There is no map outlining the rough location of the hotel… We’ve found this to be a huge help when booking under the HotWire Hot Rate system, particularly within unfamiliar destinations.
Another welcomed addition would be the integration of TripAdvisor ratings – now offered by both lastminute.com and HotWire, the overall TA score helps alleviate some of the risks that come with such an anonymous booking system.
Those small points aside, this looks like a promising offering from the Low Cost Travel Group and we’ll be on standby as they add new destinations, and, hopefully some more details to their hotel description pages, although don’t hold your breath!